Bundeswehr: Ministry of Defense wants more small drones

Bundeswehr: Ministry of Defense wants more small drones
Bundeswehr: Ministry of Defense wants more small drones

In Ukraine, drones dominate the war, but the German army is lagging behind in terms of technology. A working group recommends quick steps, including free purchasing according to a list.

A project group from the Ministry of Defense recommends that the Bundeswehr make widespread use of commercially available small drones in its troops. “The use of small and micro drones should be made possible in the Bundeswehr in the future,” said a spokesman for the ministry when asked by the German Press Agency in Berlin. The heads of the Defense Committee had previously been informed of the results of the so-called Drone Task Force in a secret meeting on Thursday.

In order to ensure faster procurement for training and presentation, the purchase of commercially available solutions is also planned. “However, only specified products that comply with the relevant security requirements may be used,” explained the spokesperson.

Experts complain about the Bundeswehr’s lack of capabilities

For years, there have been complaints that the German army does not have sufficient experience in using the new technology, especially in using cheap small drones – and does not have access to the necessary quantities. The military is observing how the technology has changed warfare. In Ukraine, inexpensive drones, which can also be purchased in hardware stores or by mail order, have become a military consumable, often loaded with explosives and thus equipped for a deadly attack.

“The small and micro drones currently being procured will not be equipped with weapons,” said the spokesman. However, the German army has a weapon-capable drone, the Heron TP. The German army’s new reconnaissance drone, which can be equipped with missiles, began practical flight operations in the airspace over northern Germany in May. However, it is significantly larger and more expensive.

Commanders should be able to procure more and faster

According to the Ministry of Defense, the Drone Task Force was tasked with “bundling, coordinating and initiating concrete steps” for the more than 200 measures currently in place in the Bundeswehr. In addition to accelerating and increasing the scope of procurement projects, the project group recommends reducing the bureaucracy involved in the purchase of commercially available small and micro drones by commanders. These measures have already been initiated. The spokesman said: “In the area of ​​small and micro drones, the respective commander can now practice and train in the use and defense of these commercially available drones.”

Soon out of date again: There should be no large stocks

When it comes to using drones as a mass product, experts do not recommend developing them themselves or keeping large stocks of them, which would mean storing devices that would soon become outdated. “Small and micro drone technology in particular is currently characterized by extremely short development cycles. The rapid technical evolution means that the Bundeswehr is examining, among other things, the extent to which software updates are contractually incorporated and the hardware does not have to go through every change cycle,” said the spokesman.

In its first draft, the Drone Task Force also proposed a range of protective measures for its own troops. The spokesman explained: “Various technical devices for jamming enemy drones’ signals are being procured, as are electronic targeting aids for effectively combating drones. The development of non-lethal anti-drone drones (e.g. with nets) is also being supported by the Bundeswehr.”

Source: Stern

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